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It's My Party is the 4th episode of Season Two of Ally McBeal.


A judge holds Ally in contempt when she disregards his instructions not to wear short skirts in court. An editor for a feminist magazine is fired for being of the Baptist faith.


Inside her apartment, Ally practices dancing to "Super Freak" as Renee observes from afar. Ally explains to her roommate that she is practicing her dance steps for an upcoming dinner party.

At work, Ally literally collides with George Madison, an editor who was fired due to his religious affiliation. Ally is immediately infatuated with the intelligent, charismatic Madison. Later, as Fish, Georgia, Billy and Cage observe, Elaine shows off her newest creation: customized condoms. Each of the prophylactics features a different phrase customized for its intended user. Ally is taken aback when she realizes hers reads, "take a number." She denies she is promiscuous. Elaine hands one to George that reads, "been there." The pair give one another affectionate kisses, leading Ally and Georgia to speculate that the two are lovers. Later, Ally shrieks when a bullfrog leaps from a toilet seat and into her hair. Cage bursts into the unisex bathroom and saves his pet, Stefan, from harm. Cage explains that he is an amateur herpetologist.

George informs Ally that an upcoming profile in the Times magazine section identifies him as being of the Baptist faith and as a result, he was promptly fired. George claims that his boss, Catherine Hollings, believes that Baptist beliefs run contrary to the magazine’s ideology. In court, Hollings’ attorney, Henry Nixon, maintains that it would be improper for an editor of a feminist magazine to believe that a woman’s place is in the home. Georgia objects, as George never stated that he personally holds this to be true. Nixon insists that the Baptist Convention declared that wives should submit to their husband’s dominance in the home. Ally objects, stating that Nixon is confusing Southern Baptists for George’s faith. She insists that George believes both men and women are equal. The judge orders an evidentiary hearing and instructs Ally to meet him in his chambers. Shortly thereafter, Judge Walsh tells Ally that every courtroom has a dress code. He insists that she stop wearing miniskirts in his court. Ally informs her colleagues of the judge’s demand in response, George insists that Ally continue wearing her skirts during his case. When Ally returns to the courtroom, she is dressed in her usual outfit. The judge eventually rules in George’s favor and orders the magazine to give him back his job. Walsh then holds Ally in contempt of court, and instructs the bailiff to take her into custody.

Ally refuses to apologize to the judge for ignoring his instructions. As a result, she is forced to spend the night in jail. The next day, Ally appears before Judge Walsh while the other attorneys close down Fish & Cage and represent her on her behalf. Having not prepared any statement, she simply calls him "a pig." Walsh orders that Ally be taken back into custody. However, before the bailiff has a chance to do so, Nelle asks to address the court. She presents an eloquent argument on the manner in which society treats women. She points out that Ally is being penalized for wearing attire that is too risqué, yet despite her hemline, she still won George’s case. During her argument, Nelle lets down her hair and throws her blazer on Cage. Ally's final statement is she wishes she has Nelle's long hair and the judge sets Ally free.

The night of the dinner party starts. Fish arrives with Ling, Cage brings Nelle, and Renee is joined by her date, Ben Beal. As the meal gets underway, the conversation grows decidedly more tense. Ben raises the issue of Ally’s short skirts, which segues into Billy’s assertion that women believe men cannot think clearly when they are aroused. Billy then suggests that he walk around in a pair of speedos to gather some individuality of his own. Silence fills the room.

Eventually, the hostility between the guests reaches the boiling point and Elaine and Billy announce they are leaving. But Ally refuses to let them go, as she is unwilling to allow the party to devolve into a complete disaster. Ben addresses his fellow guests. He opines that when a group of people get along get along so well together, little disagreements seem all the larger. He declares that everyone at the firm is "a little nutty," but since everyone is so close, being slightly crazy is not a bad thing. The dance music begins, and partiers begin swinging to the beat.

Fish escorts Ling into Ally’s bedroom and asks Ling why she tenses up whenever he attempts to kiss her goodnight. Ling explains that she attaches a great deal of importance to a first kiss, for if it isn’t perfect, the moment is ruined forever. He then takes Ling by the hand and asks for some guidance. Ling does so, planting a slow, escalating kiss on Fish’s lips. When they break apart, Ling declares that Fish was wonderful. Meanwhile, the chemistry between Ally and George continues to grow. But this is both exciting and disturbing to Ally, as George is clearly Elaine’s boyfriend.


Full transcript can be found here.


List of music in the episode can be found here.


Calista Flockhart as Ally McBeal
Courtney Thorne-Smith as Georgia Thomas
Greg Germann as Richard Fish
Lisa Nicole Carson as Renée Raddick
Jane Krakowski as Elaine Vassal
with Peter MacNicol as John Cage
and Gil Bellows as Billy Thomas

Special Appearance By

John Ritter as George Madison

Recurring cast

Portia de Rossi as Nelle Porter
Lucy Liu as Ling Woo

Guest starring

Shawn Michael Howard as Ben
Lee Wilkof as District Attorney Nixon
Albert Hall as Judge Seymore Walsh
Claudette Nevins as Ms. Hollings